15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
For those of us who have freely chosen to believe in the gospel, we are referred to as “children of God”. I enjoyed the sermon a couple of months back on Zacchaeus. In the story, Jesus accepts Zacchaeus and shows no need to draw attention to his flaws. His seeking out Jesus is heartfelt, and Jesus knows this.
What I appreciate in this season is the recognition that Jesus accepts me as a flawed individual, and does not seek to shame me (just as he felt no need to shame Zacchaeus). Jesus’ goal is to transform us, drawing close to us as he did Zacchaeus, and in so doing having us open ourselves to learning, seeing our flaws with our own eyes, without the need to label us either as an individual or an entire “group” of individuals.
We are in a turbulent time, both globally and in the US. In 2020, the rise of the pandemic and the reminder of the need for racial injustice are two examples that quickly come to mind. My prayer is that for these and other challenges, that we seek Jesus and do as he would want us to do, and that each of us personally seek to be more like Jesus, to seek transformation in 2021 wholeheartedly in the absence of labels and shaming. The only label we should seek is “Child of God”.